KDIA Music Survey (Image)

Oakland’s KDIA Lucky 13 “Boss Soul Radio” Named 2018 Legendary Station

The Bay Area Radio Museum and Hall of Fame, in cooperation with the California Historical Radio Society and the Broadcast Legends, is proud to announce that KDIA Radio (1310 AM) of Oakland has been named as the recipient of its Legendary Station Award for 2018.

KDIA, which began its life as the amateur station 6XAM in Oakland about one-hundred years ago, was the premiere radio station in serving the Bay Area’s vast African-American audience in the years following World War II, when it was known as KWBR, and well into the 1990s.

The station, which marketed itself as “KDIA Lucky 13” and “Boss Soul Radio,” played a central role in the community during the turbulent 1960s, as Oakland and the Bay Area became a focal point for the Civil Rights movement, the War on Poverty, the rise of the Black Panthers, and social unrest in the wake of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the protests against the war in Vietnam.

KDIA Logo, 191 (Image)Beyond its role as a powerful voice in the community, KDIA was also the go-to station for listeners seeking the solid sound of Soul Music – regardless of their ethnicity. Whether it was James Brown, The Supremes, The Impressions, Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett – the list could go on forever – you weren’t cool unless your radio was set to KDIA!

That cool was delivered by a supremely talented team of announcers and news people, including “Big Daddy” Don Barksdale (BARHOF 2007), Belva Davis (BARHOF ’07), Bouncin’ Bill Doubleday (BARHOF ’11), Chuck “Buggs” Scruggs, Jumpin’ George Oxford (BARHOF ’06), Bob Jones, Johnny Morris, Sly Stone, John Hardy, Bill Hall, Bob White, Rosko (William Roscoe Mercer), Roland Porter, Wally Ray, Brother Louis Freeman, Sam Skinner, Marlon Scott (Alonzo Miller), Barry Pope, Alvin John Waples, Lady P.J. Ballard, Doug Cass and Al Moreland, to name but a few.

Alvin John Waples and PJ Ballard (Photo)
Alvin John Waples and P.J. Ballard at KDIA

KDIA will be celebrated by its alumni, fans, and friends at a special luncheon at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco. The lunch program, which is being presented by the Broadcast Legends in cooperation with the Bay Area Radio Museum and Hall of Fame and the California Historical Radio Society, will include a look back on KDIA’s history, featuring classic recordings from the station, and a retrospective featuringt members of KDIA’s fabled air teams from across the years.

The date of the event will be announced in June.

Are you a KDIA alumnus — on the air or behind the scenes? If so, we want to hear from you! Please use the contact form (below) to get in touch with us.
 

KDIA Studio Building (Photo)
The KDIA studio building at the Bay Bridge Toll Plaza, circa 1976

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